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Colombian president asks for "legal, decent" probe into alleged murdering
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11:23, October 12, 2007

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Colombian President Alvaro Uribe demanded on Thursday that the public prosecutor investigate if he has ordered the assassination of a paramilitary in 2003.

"The country needs to know if the president is an assassin or if the lawyer and Mr. alias Tasmania are liars. All we Colombians can be investigated, starting from the president, but it is necessary that the means be legal and decent," Uribe told a press conference.

According to the president, Jose Orlando Moncada Zapata alias Tasmania, an imprisoned paramilitary, said in a letter that a judge called Ivan Velasquez and several public prosecutors offered him benefits for testifying that Uribe ordered the assassination of paramilitary Alcides de Jesus Durango, alias Rene.

After accusing Uribe of obstructing the court's legitimacy to probe the links between legislators and paramilitaries, Velazquez said he will place a slander lawsuit against Tasmania's lawyer who published the letter.

"There is a certain sensation of being deceived, but anyway we will continue the investigation," Velazquez said.

Velazquez has received the unanimous support of the supreme court's 23 judges through a communique.

Uribe said, "I believe that it is bad to obtain a deceitful confession through torture or through gifts."

High peace commissioner, Luis Carlos Restrepo, said in 2004 that "Rene" confessed to him that he feared to be a victim of assassination attempts ordered by Uribe or by the government forces, and that is why he had refused to leave the concentration region.

Colombia's United Self-defense (AUC) paramilitary organization demobilized 30,000 of its troops in 2006 after reaching an accord with the government.

Source: Xinhua

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